Scene opens on a living room. Nance and Rick are sitting on the couch watching a news story about a group of college students who are working as volunteers in one residential community. They are shovelling out fire hydrants which have been buried under icy four-foot drifts of plowed snow, presenting a very real danger in case of fire.
Rick: (outraged) That's just ridiculous. Why would you let that happen?
Nance: Firemen have a lot of downtime. Why isn't there a team of firefighters going around, shovelling out those hydrants? Lots of them are just lolling around the firehouse playing cards and inventing chili recipes.
Rick: (if possible, even more outraged) Nance, they can't do that! They'd have to send out the whole truck with all the guys. What if there was a fire someplace? Those guys would be out someplace shovelling out a hydrant, and the rest of them would have to wait or go pick them up. It just doesn't work like that.
Nance: (losing interest now) I guess. The whole thing is a mess.
Rick: It should work like the emergency exit on an airplane. If someone wants to buy a house on a lot with a fire hydrant, they should have to agree to shovel the snow around it in the winter. You know, like the way the flight attendant asks you if you agree to be in charge of the emergency exit in case of a sudden landing and all that. If the homeowner can't handle it, then that's it--no sale.
Nance: (perking up) That is genius! It's perfect.
Rick: Have you ever sat in the emergency exit aisle?
Nance: Heck yes. And I was fully prepared to haul that door off and take control. Absolutely.
Rick: Did you ever see anyone refuse?
Nance: Yes, a frail little old lady, and I was glad that she did. We would never have gotten out alive. And I once saw a woman with a kid sit there briefly, and I knew there was no way in hell that was good for me. She'd get so wrapped up in finding a sippy cup or a blankie that we'd all die.
Rick: This is what I'm talking about. Only responsible people should have these hydrants in their yard. It's better for everyone.